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YOUNGSTOWN More Butler copies to go up



Published: Wed, January 2, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Mural No. 2 should go up on the Cedar's Cafe building before spring.

By ROGER G. SMITH

CITY HALL REPORTER

YOUNGSTOWN -- Jack Carlton spent nearly a year bringing downtown mural No. 1 to life, but No. 2 shouldn't take nearly as long.

Carlton, a local artist and teacher who is coordinator of the Downtown Murals Project, expects to erect another work from the Butler Institute of American Art shortly.

The first of an expected 10 vinyl murals downtown went up last week on a building at Federal and Chestnut streets, across from Powers Auditorium.

Despite high winds, billboard crews put up a 14-by-22-foot reproduction of the famous & quot;Snap the Whip, & quot; an 1872 oil on canvas by renowned American artist Winslow Homer.

"It was excruciating" watching the 41/2 -hour process of fixing the mural to the wall, Carlton said. "I was just ecstatic."

How it was done: Paintings are digitally reproduced and mounted on vinyl. The portable art will be about 14 feet by 20 feet. Reproductions can be larger but that increases the cost.

Carlton got the city's permission in March to put up the billboard-size painting. However, settling a nonart issue -- liability -- took nine more months before the public art could go up.

"It's the kind of 'what if' stuff," he said. "I've learned how to be patient. I'm going to continue to be patient."

With one success, the project should move on more quickly, Carlton said. He expects to put up mural No. 2, probably on the garden wall of Cedar's Cafe, before spring. It will be one of two Charles Burchfield watercolors in the Butler collection, he said. The Butler owns "September Wind and Rain, 1949," and "Late Winter Radiance, 1961-62."

Carlton is focusing future works on Ohio artists who are in the Butler permanent collection. Burchfield grew up in Salem.

More money is needed to put up more murals, he said. City council started him with a $10,000 grant. An additional $4,000 donation was made and $5,000 more is pledged. He continues looking for buildings to use and sponsors to offset the costs.

His deadline: Carlton, who teaches at Youngstown State University and Hiram College, wanted to get the "museum without walls" erected by the time the new downtown federal courthouse is finished. Construction at Wick Avenue and Commerce Street is to be done in September.

That might not happen, but he'll work as fast as he can. One or two examples mounted in public should help demonstrate the money's purpose, he said.

"It's a much easier kind of project, because it's real," Carlton said. "I'm hoping it will be easier."

rgsmith@vindy.com




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